Month: July 2014

Operation Uplift Launches Project To Help Homeless Veterans, Donations Needed


Wednesday, July 31, 2014

Operation Uplift Center and West Town Museum announce a new project that targets Homeless Veterans and their families. The projects starts today, August 1, 2014. They are asking the community to donate much needed toiletries to these men and woman who have sacrificed so much for us and have fallen on hard times. The items are:

  • Soap
  • Tooth brushes
  • Mouth wash
  • Face cloths
  • Towels
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet tissue
  • Kleenex
  • Deodorant
    • School supplies
    • Winter gloves (for adults too)

Items may be dropped off at Operation Uplift Center, 104 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood, IL. For more details, call (708) 516-0628. This effort is in collaboration with America Cares, Too, a veterans support group located in Forest Park, IL. VFP

TOWNSHIP NEWS: Broadview Celebrates 100 Years, Gov. Quinn Drops Off $1.2M ‘Birthday Gift’

Screenshot 2014-07-30 at 4.18.40 PM(The Proviso East Marching Band march down 17th Avenue during Broadview’s centennial parade. Photos by Michael Romain for the Village Free Press). 

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

BROADVIEW — Last Saturday, residents of Broadview leaned on balconies, sat on lawn chairs in their front yards and stood along the sidewalk to see a festive procession of convertible cars, trucks and marchers that included Ronald McDonald; Homer, the Home Depot mascot; pageant winners; and the Proviso East Marching Band. The parade kicked off the 100th anniversary celebration of Broadview’s incorporation. It ran from the Village’s 25th Avenue municipal building, east on Roosevelt Road and south on 17th Avenue, terminating in the parking lot of Broadview Village Square, where people from around the Proviso Township area enjoyed food, live entertainment and fireworks.

“This was the first opportunity in a long time to get the community gathered in one location to mingle and have a good time,” said Broadview Mayor Sherman Jones, for which the occasion was also a chance to exhibit the Village’s progress since he first took office in 2009.

“Progress has been tremendous,” Jones said. “We’ve turned the financial situation [of the Village] around, built up the police and fire departments, lowered crime rates–we’re all good.”

The centennial celebration also, if inadvertently, highlighted the striking affinities between Broadview and its older neighbor to the north–Maywood. Maywood Trustee Audrey Jaycox said that Maywood’s overwhelming representation at the event, relative to Broadview’s other neighbors, isn’t accidental. She cited the two towns’ comparable income levels, ethnic demographics, and the fact that they both share two school districts (89 and 209) and multiple borders (13th Avenue and Roosevelt Road, mainly) as key factors contributing to their unique bond.

“We also share a lot of relatives and there are a lot of Maywood employees who live in Broadview,” she said.

To reinforce her point, Mayor Perkins praised the efforts of Broadview resident Sue Henry, who was instrumental in planning the celebrations. Henry has deep ties to Maywood through her family and her extensive involvement with the John C. Vaughn Scholarship Foundation, among other factors. Even Mayor Jones is a Proviso East alumnus and former Maywood Postmaster.The connection between the two towns would resonate even more as attendees reminisced.

Cynthia Capitani-Saunders embodies the Maywood-Broadview symbiosis. She grew up in Broadview from 1949 until 1966 and remembers when the parking lot that’s encircled by a Home Depot, Super Target, a McDonald’s and an Ashley Furniture Home Store, among other national and multinational establishments, was the site of International Harvester.

“This was a heaven,” she recalled of her hometown. “Everybody knew their neighbors. It was like the TV show ‘Leave it to Beaver.’ In 1949, when I was here, most of the people were military veterans from World War II. A lot of them were professionals. There was strong a Jewish contingent. Lindop school was just great. I really miss it,” said Capitani-Saunders, whose sister, longtime Broadview resident Jorene Gordon, was on the centennial planning committee.

The Capitani family lived on the 2500 block of 15th Avenue in Broadview, right down the street from what she called a kid’s paradise. She said that she remembers only one police officer back in those days and residents called him “Indian Joe.”

“He would ride around in a motorcycle,” Capitani-Saunders, said. “Where the park is there used to be a prairie with tall grasses,” she said. “We had a dugout and tree houses and a pond full of cray fish and frogs.”

She said that her family and other Broadview residents would swarm into nearby Maywood for entertainment, shopping and medical care.

“It used to be a big treat to go to Maywood,” Capitani-Saunders said. “We’d go to the Lido Theater–they played two shows, cartoons and news reels. That’s how we got our news back then. You could really stay all day in the theater. All the doctors and dentist offices were there, the pharmacy was there, the shops, an ice cream parlor, bookstores. Maywood was a happening place. The only setback to living in Broadview, though, was the transportation. We went to Proviso East and we’d have to wait for this blue bus to go to school. If you missed it, that was it.”

After graduating college, Capitani-Saunders settled in Maywood, where she stayed with her husband and children for 38 years. Her husband operated an independent newspaper in Maywood. Her daughter, Stacy Saunders, works for the West Cook YMCA and frequents both Villages. Ten years ago, Capitani-Saunders and her husband moved to Oak Park, where they now reside.

“I still love Broadview,” said Capitani-Saunders. She still owns houses in Maywood and Broadview. “It’s a great community. It’s sort of like a hidden treasure. We’ve got a great police and fire department now.”

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Gov. Quinn used to work in Broadview and still feels a strong connection to the place. “I grew up in the West Suburbs and the West Suburbs are the best suburbs,” he said.

The Governor, who only hours earlier had attended the funeral of 11 year-old Shamiya Adams, the West Side girl who was fatally shot in the head by a stray bullet, emphasized the need for more positive alternatives for the state’s youth.

“We’ve got to have good things for our kids to get involved in,” he said, after announcing that Broadview would receive $1.2 million to renovate the Beverly Center on Cermak Avenue. The money would go toward upgrading the gymnasium, multipurpose rooms and play equipment, among other purposes.

The money is part of the Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) Grant Program, which provides “grants to eligible local governments for acquisition, development, construction, rehabilitation or other capital improvements to park and recreation facilities in Illinois,” according to the Department of Natural Resources. The PARC funding was made possible through Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program. Enacted in 2009, the program is considered the largest construction program in the state’s history and one of the largest in America.

State Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-4th) co-sponsored the PARC Grant Program and worked on its passage for three years. She said that she and former Broadview Park District Executive Director Katrina Thompson laid the groundwork for the $1.2 million check that the Governor presented to the Village Lightford considers her second home.

“The best is yet to come,” said likely Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, who also emphasized the upcoming November election in what was a prime political opportunity both for the Governor, who faces an uphill battle with Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, and for a range of ballot initiatives. Even though he has yet to be sworn-in, Boykin advocated for a non-binding election referendum that would gauge whether or not Illinois residents think the General Assembly should allocate more funding for necessary mental health services. It’s a question whose answer hinges a lot on which candidate wins the governorship–something that wasn’t lost on most elected officials who spoke in the shadow of Home Depot and momentarily turned a family fair into a political rally.

“Gov. Quinn is the best choice,” said Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough. “He stands for the things we care about the most,” she said, before promising that the Proviso Township Democratic Organization, of which she’s committeewoman, would work to double the Governor’s democratic primary vote tally.

State Rep. Chris Welch (D-7th), a native of Maywood, said that Mayor Jones “is constantly in my office talking about what they have planned,” before apparently improvising the day’s catchiest slogan–“We win with Quinn!” Welch also did some lobbying on behalf of the municipality he represents in Springfield, requesting another $1 million to help Broadview build another police station.

“They say the first 100 years is the toughest,” said Gov. Quinn. Judging by the day’s collective optimism, one would certainly think so. VFP

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The State of Illinois Owes Maywood More Than $135K, Says Illinois Municipal League Late Payment Calculator

ILIT_LocalGov(The chart shows State income tax payments to local governments from FY2008 to FY2013 and the Governor’s recommended payments for FY2014. The amount of State income taxes shared with local governments remains below its pre-recession level of $1.208 billion in FY2008. Chart and caption by the Civic Federation.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

Municipalities claim Illinois already underpays them their share of state income tax revenue–on top of that, Springfield is chronically late with the payments

The State of Illinois owes the Village of Maywood $135,626.70, according to the Illinois Municipal League’s Late Payment Calculator. State law entitles municipal and county governments to a share of state income tax money through the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). The money is apportioned by population size and distributed to the local governments by the Illinois Comptroller. Those governments, in turn, get to use the money to cover general operating costs.

But according to the Illinois Municipal League, the state has “consistently delayed forwarding LGDF to municipalities from anywhere between three to six months.” For an understanding of the significance of state income tax receipts to Maywood’s general operating activities, consider that in FY2012–the most recent fiscal year for which the Village has provided detailed information on its financial operations–Maywood received $2,320,689, according to data obtained by the Illinois Comptroller’s local government Warehouse.

Before 2011, 10 percent of state income tax receipts that were supposed to be set aside for use by municipal and county governments. After the state enacted its temporary income tax (which raised state income tax rates from 3.75 percent to 5 percent and corporate income tax rates from 5.25 percent to 7 percent), the percentage of the income tax allocated to municipal and county governments was changed to 6 percent of the individual income tax revenue and 6.86 percent of the corporate income tax revenue, based on reporting by the nonpartisan Civic Federation. The change reflected the state’s intention of keeping local governments’ portion of the increased revenues at the level it was at prior to the temporary income tax increase increase.

The state’s desire to keep the increased revenue that would result from the temporary tax increase had mayors across the state up in arms when the idea was proposed in 2011. At the time, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, which represents more than 270 municipalities across metropolitan Chicago (including Maywood), said the reduced percentages amounted to a “stealth tax” on local governments. The Mayors Caucus claimed that even before the reduced percentages were enacted in 2011, local governments were experiencing reduced revenues from state income taxes–both as a result of the depressed economy and due what it claimed was the state’s tendency to underestimate its annual income tax revenues.

According to the Civic Federation, last year, after Gov. Quinn released his proposed FY2014 budget, the Illinois Municipal League estimated that local governments would lose about $148 million. That figure doesn’t include the amount of lost revenue that the League forecast would be a result of the Governor’s office underestimating tax receipts.

In an analysis conducted last month, the Civic Federation stated that the lost income tax revenue, in addition to the state’s chronic delay in paying out the revenue, “has caused serious budgetary problems for local governments that have come to rely on the income tax as an important revenue source for balancing their budgets.  For example, in 2010 and 2011, the State delayed payments to the City of Chicago for an average of 120 days.”

House Bill 0961, which was recently passed by the Illinois General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature, would require the State to transfer income tax revenue to the Local Government Distributive Fund within 60 days.  This legislation will help to ensure that municipalities and counties receive their share of the income tax in a timely manner and would allow for the local share of the income tax to be a more predictable source of revenue throughout the budget year.” VFP


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TOWNSHIP NEWS: 11 Year-Old Shooting Victim Shamiya Adams Mourned In Forest Park

Screenshot 2014-07-29 at 7.27.45 PM(Mourners gather inside Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park to remember 11 year-old Shamiya Adams. Photos by Michael Romain for the Village Free Press. Cover photo by John J. Kim for the Chicago Tribune).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 || Michael Romain || Also Published in the Forest Park Review and the Austin Weekly News

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FOREST PARK — An estimated 1,000 mourners gathered at Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park July 26 to pay respects to Shamiya Adams, the eleven year-old whose life ended after she was struck in the head by a stray bullet in Chicago the week before. Adams had been at her friend’s house in East Garfield Park for a sleepover July 19 when she was killed.

Bright green was her favorite color, so her family dispensed with tradition and made sure that the ceremonies were bathed in it–from her casket to the pallbearers’ t-shirts to her mother’s jeans to the balloons that were released at her gravesite. From the church, her body was carried to Forest Home Cemetery on a white horse-drawn carriage. And as her tragically small coffin made its final descent, the green balloons, along with a group of pure white doves, were put to flight. The regalia was fitting for the young girl her grandmother nicknamed “Queen” and who was described as a model student and sibling by those who knew her best.

“It’s so meaningful that we have boys and girls who understand the ethic of service,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. Adams was an active volunteer at Melody Elementary, where she went to school. A statement on behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who wasn’t in attendance, praised her legacy as one symbolizing “strength, hard work and humility.” Alderman Jason Ervin (28th) said that “there will be a void this upcoming school year.”

Adams was a voluntary babysitter at her school, where she helped tend to the kindergartners. She had most recently been involved with the Penny Drive, a project designed to raise funds to purchase new books for the school’s library. She was also an active member of First Baptist Congregation’s youth ministry. Her youth pastor, Rev. Danny Jones, said that Adams’s church family would cherish the moments they prayed, talked and laughed with her.

But the reminiscences may have been only bitter consolation for those closest to her–many of whom were still stunned and bewildered by what Rev. Jesse Jackson described as “death without rhyme or reason.” Rev. Jackson, who had been in communication with the family prior to the funeral, expressed the shock Adams’s mother, Shaneetha Goodloe, experienced upon the death of her daughter. “Shamiya’s mother said to me, ‘When other people’s children are shot, I weep for them. I didn’t know mine would be next,'” Jackson said.

“Shaneetha, you’ve been crying since July 19. God wants you to stop crying,” said Adam’s cousin, Katina Smith, in a heartfelt plea with Goodloe to hold on to her faith despite the inexplicable circumstances.

Alderman Ervin called on the people of the West Side to summon their better angels so that the family’s faith in community would be undergirded by the support it receives in tragedy and not undermined by the tragedy itself. “When the cameras are gone; when the tears are dry […] this family will still need us,” he said.

Despite the uplifting words, however, the frustration and anger was potent; the collective outrage of the roughly 1,000 mourners restrained, but seething just underneath the tears and stone faces of people like Paul Goodloe, Shanitha Adams’s grandfather. Goodloe had left the sanctuary during the eulogy, perhaps seeking the kind of solace that words can’t provide.

“It’s sad the way the City of Chicago is allowing these creeps to go on and shoot at will and take innocent lives,” Goodloe said. “They’re not discriminating about who they’re shooting. Somebody needs to stand up and do something!”

Other mourners, like Aaron McClinton, one of the Adams’s pallbearers and a best friend to both of her parents, offered solutions of their own. McClinton said that he would recommend tougher sentencing laws for those who shoot innocent children and a more vigorous police presence in neighborhoods affected most by gun violence.

“I’d put a cop on every corner every day. They got enough of them,” McClinton said. “It’s just too many kids dying in Chicago. Just yesterday, a boy got killed on California and Harrison–right by where I live. I say upgrade the sentencing for these crimes.”

Rev. Jackson admonished those in the community who witness murders and crime, but don’t tell what they see, saying that they’re “just as guilty as those who pull the trigger.” He said that 75 percent of murders aren’t solved because people won’t tell who committed them.

“Our community must not be a sanctuary to hide killers,” he said, urging those gathered to repeat after him. “Most of these murders are not solved, because we’ve been providing sanctuary,” he said, before suggesting that the community also become more actively involved in the fight to rid the streets of the lethal weapons that directly lead to tragically senseless deaths.

“We know where the guns are made […] If we would march like we mourn, we could stop mourning and just march,” he said.

Rev. Oscar Crear, who delivered the eulogy, tried calming the family’s frustration with calls for understanding. “Children, God hears you crying,” said Crear, who is the pastor the New Tiberia Baptist Church.

“It’s alright to be frustrated […] but we have to understand that [the court officials, the police and elected officials] are human just like us. I want to believe that they’re doing the best they can,” he said.

Just two days before her funeral, Chicago police announced that they’d arrested 18-year-old Tevin Lee for Shamiya Adams’s murder.

“There are no words in the English language to relieve us of the pain of losing such a special child,” Gov. Quinn had said during his comments. McClinton offered a somber correction. “We just lost two kids,” he said. VFP


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TOWNSHIP NEWS: Capital in the 21st Century: How One Team of Investors Plans to Spread Wealth to Where It’s Needed Most–Places Like Maywood

Screenshot 2014-07-29 at 4.57.15 PM(Xcylur Stoakley, Lennel Grace, Collette Nakamyuka (also pictured below) and Barry Wilson. Photos by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

A new venture capital firm is seeking to bring a business incubator to Proviso Township, but it must first bridge a divide

Screenshot 2014-07-29 at 4.56.58 PM

Ask most people in one of the wealthiest countries in the world what wealth is and you’ll get an avalanche of poorly informed misconceptions. Perhaps the most obvious reason for this irony is because most people, not just in America, but in the wealthy Western world in general, aren’t wealthy.

Wealth is the sum total of one’s nonhuman assets. In other words, wealth is capital, which means any asset (such as stocks, bonds, real estate, plants, machinery, patents, etc.) that can be exchanged for something else on some market, according to French economist Thomas Picketty, who has morphed into something of a godfather on the subject. He even wrote a book on it, which is authoritatively called Capital in the 21st Century.

For most people before 2008, their primary form of capital was their home. When the housing bubble crashed, the values of people’s homes dropped so sharply that many couldn’t be exchanged for more than they were worth. Since many people’s wealth, their net worth, is tied up in their homes, their net worth became negative (i.e., they had more debt than wealth). There was typically no other capital assets in their wealth portfolio–no business, no stocks, no bonds, no patents–to compensate for the plunge in the value of their homes.

Collette Nakamyuka, a Uganda-born fashion designer, doesn’t want to be like most people, so she’s leveraging her sartorial skills to build what many strivers among her generation consider to be perhaps the most potent form of capital around–a marketable brand.

Nakamyuka, 30, who works out of Hyde Park, founded House of Collette several years ago. The name invokes the elite panache of Saville Row and Haute couture fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Givenchy and Elie Saab, whose Lebanese namesake Nakamyuka calls her inspiration. She designs handbags, jeans, wedding gowns, ballroom gowns and cocktail dresses. She hopes to have a men’s line out by 2015. You can see and purchase some of her work here.

Growing up in Uganda, fashion had always been her passion, but her parents didn’t consider it a career. It wouldn’t pay the bills. She went to IT school, instead, but kept drifting back to her first love, eventually establishing her own boutique. Seven years ago, she came to America to focus on her dreams of expanding her brand, which she wants to be known worldwide. Eventually, she hopes to make inroads into mass producing her designs, preferably in America–both as a point of giving back to her adopted country, but also because of practical concerns.

Last year, she went on a 35-day reconnaissance mission to China to gather information about the workers’ use of fabrics, the manufacturing and labor costs, and the standards and quality of the work. She came to a conclusion that–judging by the decisions of many large multinational corporations that have offshored much of their production processes to China–is against the current trend.

“That trip was really informative,” she said. “When I saw the quality of work they do, I said, ‘We need to bring manufacturing back home, because America has better quality, better work standards, better wages. It’s miserable out there. Clothes made in China–you wear them and they shrink, the stitches tear up. Quality really matters.”

Nakamyuka’s concerns may be entirely pragmatic, but her goal of growing a manufacturing-based business by concentrating the production in the United States seems downright ideal in today’s global business climate. The competition, it would seem, simply wouldn’t allow it to be sustainable after a certain level of growth. To compete with, say, Beyonce’s House of Dereon or Donald Trump’s China-made ties, it would seem that House of Collette would have to cave on quality a bit to decrease costs. But this is putting the cart before the horse, because the business first has to get to that point where its even a factor in the competition.

Nakamyuka, who has partnered with organizations such as the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Fashion Week and the Bronzeville Visitor’s Center, and a company called Sororitque, says that currently her business is based online. She has a number of steady customers and a flow of income that comes from a variety of collaborations, such as the ones listed above. She wouldn’t disclose her net revenue or gross profits, but said that neither is enough to take her to the next level. For that she needs capital–money for payroll, infrastructure, equipment, physical space, etc.–and to get that capital she needs credit.

“If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the credit,” she said, expressing a vicious conundrum that most small businesses, particularly the ones not in the high-tech industries, face routinely. “I’ve only been here for seven years, so I haven’t been here that long to build my credit. I only had one credit card and no savings at all.”

House of Collette’s problem is precisely why Urban Capital of America was formed a few years ago, says its founders Xcylur Stoakley and Barry Wilson. They envision building a business incubator in Proviso Township that would nurture start-ups such as House of Collette to full fruition–from seed stage to blossom. Wilson met Namakyuka through serendipity–they were in the airport and chanced upon a conversation about the designer’s ambitions. They exchanged information and an unlikely relationship was formed.

“This country’s in trouble. It isn’t creating jobs where we need jobs,” said Wilson during a presentation in front of Broadview’s Board of Trustees. “High tech incubators are creating jobs five to ten years from now for Ph.D’s, but we’ve always been focused on helping companies that have existed today or can provide services and products that are needed today. So we can start hiring people today.”

Urban Capital’s diagnosis is spot on. The problem for small entrepreneurs such as Namakyuka is that the much-needed capital that beginning businesses so desperately crave is often concentrated and funneled to a few select industries, which are often already relatively well-financed. The emphasis is often on short turnaround times, gargantuan upside and low risk. Investors, nowadays, want to have it all. That makes it difficult to attract much capital to companies and industries that require time to cultivate and mature before turning a profit. It doesn’t help that capital is virtually horded by big institutional banks that are as focused on the short-term as some venture capitalists.

Meanwhile, Nakamyuka struggles to get a loan to manufacture clothes and even public institutions such as the Maywood Public Library can barely acquire financing to keep its doors open. It’s an outrageously inefficient allocation of wealth. And something needs to be done about it.

The challenge for Urban Capital, however, comes in the translation–trying to successfully turn an admirable goal into a workable reality. Wilson, who started working in venture capitalism 30 years ago and is the former chief operating officer of E2, a high-tech business incubator based out of the University of Southern California, says that the key to their approach is what’s called royalty-based financing.

According to Scott Goodwin, a Certified Public Accountant with Wolf & Company, P.C., royalty-based financing, “allows the Company to get money now in exchange for future repayment without the business owner sacrificing any equity.   The future repayments are based on a percentage or dollar amount of future revenues (i.e. royalty payments).    This allows the business owner to continue to exercise control over their Company without worrying about sharing decision making responsibilities or contemplating an exit to return capital to their angels or VC’s [venture capitalists] down the line.”

Urban Capital hopes to attract a range of companies to a physical incubator they hope to locate somewhere in Proviso Township, provide them with financing, in addition to material support in the form of infrastructure, resources and business advice, and grow them to the point where they can stand on their own-somewhat like seeing a toddler through to young adulthood. It’s a novel concept, particularly for the Proviso Township Area.

“There are other incubators like 1871 in Chicago and another one getting started on the South Side,” said Lennel Grace, a principal with the company. “I see this as the third one.”

During a presentation in April to the Maywood Board of Trustees, Stoakley said that Urban Capital is looking to identify a facility that is between 5,000 and 7,500 square feet and would house between seven and ten companies. He said they would utilize a dashboard financial system, provide business advice and support to companies, and make available common services such as Wi-Fi, a conference room space, copiers, printers, scanners and a kitchen.

“If there’s a need for additional finances, we can spot that early and go find it or be the source for those finances,” he said. “We’re looking to create a modern facility where businesses can thrive and grow.”

But the Urban Capital team has recently had a hard time selling local government officials on the novelty. Wilson, Stoakley and Grace have appeared in front of at least two local municipal boards in the area–Maywood and Broadview–to test their levels of commitment to the idea and inquire about future TIF funding for the physical space. Both times, they were met with reservation and skepticism among many of those towns’ trustees. The main questions the politicians have had for the businessmen is, ‘How much will this cost us?’, What is the rate of success?’ and ‘What is your record of achievement?’

During their Broadview presentation, Wilson, Stoakley and Grace touted their combined professional and investment experience. Grace has a professional background in management, information technology and engineering, while Stoakley is the co-founder of Ark Capital Management. During a presentation in Maywood, Stoakley said that he’s made investments in Europe, Australia and Asia–experience he believes the company can leverage on behalf of the start-ups they’ll host in their proposed incubator.

But they were short on disclosing the identities of their investors. Wilson said that the company has some lined up–they include, he said, pension funds and various high-net-worth individuals. They’ve also been short on hard financial figures. The ambiguity of their pitch, which the group admitted is still a work in progress, seemed to exacerbate a preexisting level of distrust in the world of finance among those who don’t inhabit its often misunderstood and secretive realm.

Capital doesn’t naturally compute with people whose main source of income is tied to a job or one lone asset (a home), instead of to derivative income from stock or rent or equity. This disconnect may be the group’s biggest obstacle, but if they can bridge this gap by gaining people’s trust, they may be able to pull off what sounds like an admirable local solution to a very pressing national problem. The more Collettes the better. VFP

Correction: A previous version of this article had mispelled Ms. Nakamyuka’s last name. This article has since been emended. 

Villegas Monuments

Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough To Speak About Property Fraud To Maywood Senior Club, July 31

Yarbrough, Karen

Monday, July 28, 2014 

From the office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds:

Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen A. Yarbrough will be visiting the Maywood Senior Club at the Maywood Park District (9th and Madison) on Thursday, July 31, at 12:00 noon to talk about the dangers of property fraud and to sign up residents for her Free Property Fraud Alert.
Because County Recorders are not authorized by law to verify the legal claims made in documents presented for recording, scammers are using our open recording system to file forged documents transferring ownership of property. Senior citizens are especially vulnerable as they are more likely to own their homes free and clear of a mortgage, and may leave their properties unoccupied for long periods of time. All Maywood seniors are encouraged to attend this free event; even those who don’t own homes will gain valuable knowledge to share with friends and family.

Staff will be on hand Thursday to sign residents up for the Free Property Fraud Alert. Attendees should bring a photo ID. In the meantime, any property owner may sign up to receive free alerts regarding their property, either by phone or email, online at or by calling 800-728-3858. VFP